You can be cited for DUI if you are a driver below 21 years with a blood-alcohol count (BAC) over 0.02%. If found guilty, you will face a monetary fine as well as a potential suspension of your driver’s license for at least a year. You may also have your vehicle impounded and be court ordered to attend alcohol classes. If this is a serious or subsequent offense, you can be sentenced to jail time.
Drunk driving under the age of 21 clearly has serious consequences. As such, retaining a qualified DUI attorney from a law firm like Las Vegas Defense Group can help have your charges reduced or dismissed and save you from the life-changing repercussions of an underage drunk driving offense.
Below are the two common defenses employed by seasoned attorneys to overturn DUI charges against drivers under the age of 21.
Were you pulled over for a legitimate reason?
Police officers in Las Vegas are bound by specific guidelines which determine when they can pull someone over. Basically, you can only be pulled over if you are driving suspiciously or breaking the law in some way. If, for instance, you are caught speeding, you can be stopped and subjected to an alcohol test.
The police officer who arrested you should be in a position to explain their reason to pull you over. If they can’t, the judge can dismiss your case regardless of the results of the breath and blood tests. This is usually the first thing any attorney asks to know when investigating an underage DUI case.
Even if the officer can justify the stop, they will still be required to explain why they suspected you were under the influence of when they stopped you. This simply means you can be pulled over for dangerous driving but not be subjected to an alcohol test without probable cause. Some valid reasons commonly used to justify DUI suspicion include an obvious smell of alcohol in your car or the presence of an open alcohol container.
The officer needs to meet both these requirements for your case to take up.
Was protocol followed?
If the above defenses fail to work for your underage DUI case, your attorney may decide to use possible breaches of protocol to challenge your case. For instance, if the officer who arrested you did not read you your Miranda warning before arresting you, the judge can dismiss your case. The same applies if the breath test was performed on you without your consent or you were denied the right to have the test performed by an independent physician.
The bottom line
Your DUI attorney needs your maximum corporation if they are to get you out of the mess you have found yourself in. Be honest and provide them with as much information as possible regarding your encounter with the police during arrest and in custody. Remember to provide even the most trivial of information as the little details are what a good lawyer needs to overturn your case.